Sophisticated ISIS Attack Foiled in Australia

Chloe Boxer, Op/Ed Editor

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Terrorist attacks orchestrated by the extremist group, ISIS, were foiled and successfully prevented by federal and local law enforcement in Sydney, Australia last month on July 15. Two brothers were taken into custody on July 29 and are now facing terror-related charges for their failed attempts to wreak havoc on innocent Australian citizens. Khaled Khayat, 49, and Mahmoud Khayat, 32, who are of Lebanese-Australian origin, were suspected of planning to bomb an Etihad plane in Sydney last month and release a deadly gas in public. The world was not widely aware of this situation until the first few days of August when the Australian police apprehended the suspects and had gained control over the threat.

Military grade explosives were sent to Khayat brothers from Turkey to Australia on a commercial airline and the entire operation was directed by high-ranking operatives of the Islamic State in Syria. Michael Phelan of the Australian Federal Police further described the planning of this attack and explained that the “components of this IED were sent through international air cargo by the ISIL operatives through to the accused men here in Australia.” Phelan also addressed the toxic gas threat and claimed the brothers tried to create an “improvised chemical dispersion device” of hydrogen sulfide that was ultimately useless. The two brothers are believed to have been recruited by another brother in Syria with a high-ranking position in the terrorist organization. Officials believe the brothers were sent the pieces of the bomb in Sydney along with instructions on constructing it by an ISIS officer. The two men reportedly made the device and then traveled to Sydney International Airport and for reasons still unclear, completely abandoned the plan before they went through security.

The plots in Australia were unsuccessful and yet there is now widespread worry about where other bomb parts could have been sent and what ISIS is planning next. The United States is reluctant to confirm that ISIS has havens where they can easily plot attacks from Syria. This story is still developing almost a month since the initial attack was planned to take place and the terror threat was lowered by Prime Minister Turnbull on August 3 as the situation continues to be investigated.

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Sophisticated ISIS Attack Foiled in Australia